City of New Orleans
2017 Annual Data Report
As mandated in Policy Memo No. 135
Progress toward goals
We have used the goals outlined below to guide our work since the first release of City of New Orleans open data in 2012. Since the data policy became official in 2017, the Enterprise Information team has focused on a number of initiatives that continue to prioritize the goals outlined in the Data Policy. These are:
Data Inventory: The Enterprise Information team has prioritized working with departments to inventory and document the data systems they use and datasets they manage and maintain. This project helps City Hall staff to understand the importance of maintaining and publishing high-quality, timely datasets through our open data portal at datadriven.nola.gov. It has also allowed us to appropriately categorize and score data for future release as well as encouraging internal and external stakeholders to weigh in on high-value data releases that will foster innovative uses of the city's data. Throughout 2017, we have:
- User tested the inventory process and tools and then changed them as necessary with feedback
- Finalized our website (datadriven.nola.gov) with online access to tools and information resources
- Coordinated with Department Directors to identify Data Coordinators
- Hosted one large and three small trainings to introduce the inventory process and officially start Phase I inventories
- Held dozens of one-on-one meetings with Data Coordinators to brainstorm and identify "City" datasets
- Codified the process to publish each department's inventory
Currently, we have completed 10 of 56 departmental inventories and have another 24 in progress or training. We are proud that over half of participating departments have started down the data inventory road!
As of 12/20/2017
Number of Departments: 56
Trained Departments: 37
Inventories Complete: 12
Inventories In-Progress: 24
Cataloging and releasing high-value datasets: In June 2016, the City launched an online public records request system. Since we make the requests open data, we've been able to identify and prioritize releasing datasets that are being asked for by the public. By combining this information with dataset suggestions from our open data portal and internal requests from co-workers, we are working to make sure the data we make available is useful and timely. We have also:
- Created and implemented a process to release "request-driven" datasets
- Worked closely with GIS to codify spatial data release processes and federate the GIS catalog
Data visualization and reporting: Making data available to departments and the public is a big step in creating a smarter city, but it is only a first step. Without tools to understand the data, decisions can’t be made based on the data. The Enterprise Information team has long supported departments by providing reports from their systems, but now we have embarked on a program of building the capacity of departments to perform their own analyses and develop real-time dashboards for decision-making. To do this, we have:
- Created a Data Working Group to allow departments to share their successes and challenges with data analysis and visualization
- Procured Microsoft Power BI and trained the first wave of analysts inside City Hall
- Worked with Safety and Permits to craft a "data story" to explain data related to Short Term Rentals. This can now be used as a template for other departmental data stories
Did you know?
- The first City open dataset published to our portal was Curb Lines. It was published on Aug. 26, 2011.
- Since then, we've published over 200 additional datasets.
- Eighteen of these datasets are high-value police data, the most popular of which has been viewed over 43,000 times!
Data Policy Goals
The City will develop and implement practices that allow it to:
- Maintain high quality, timely data with documentation (metadata) and permanence to encourage maximum use;
- Proactively release publishable City data, making it freely available in open formats, with no restrictions on use or reuse, and fully accessible to the broadest range of users to use for varying purposes;
- Establish and maintain an open data web portal that provides a central location for published City data;
- Minimize limitations on the disclosure of public information while appropriately safeguarding protected and sensitive information; and
- Encourage innovative uses of the City’s publishable data by agencies, the public, and other partners.
Full policy text here: https://nola.gov/chief-administrative-office/policies/policies/no-135-data-policy/
Data Initiative Implementation Progress
The data policy outlines nine specific objectives related to implementation. Below are those objectives and our progress toward implementing them.
Identify Data Coordinators
Of the 56 participating departments, almost 75% have named and followed up with a Data Coordinator.
Establish intergovernmental approach to grow/maintain GIS resources
The Enterprise GIS team (eGIS) fostered and facilitated several interdepartmental projects in 2017. GPS tracking was established for lead and tail NOPD vehicles for major Mardi Gras parades. eGIS assisted with the server setup to support the GPS hardware that was implemented and managed by NOHSEP GIS. eGIS staff also used aerial imagery and LIDAR data to preposition tree locations to be used in an upcoming field inventory of trees in areas defined by Parks and Parkways. A pilot project was initiated to determine the level of effort to scan and digitally map back files in the Real Estate and Records office. Finally, eGIS coordinated the data cleanup of catch basin asset locations that are used in the Adopta Catch Basin application located at catchbasin.nola.gov, an app that was launched together with various stakeholders, including Neighborhood Engagement, Department of Public Works, and the Resilience Office.
Oversee creation of a data inventory and publish it to the Open Data Portal
The up-to-date City Data Inventory, hosted on data.nola.gov, is available below, sorted alphabetically by Department.
Implement a process to determine risk vs. benefit of publishing potentially sensitive datasets
Before publishing any dataset or inventory, the data is categorized based on:
- Priority or value
- Technical challenges
- Data classification (public, protected, sensitive)
- Data quality concerns
Implement a process to prioritize the release of data based on public interest, City programming and cost
Before publishing any dataset or inventory, the data is scored based on the following criteria:
- Data quality (completeness, accuracy, etc.)
- Value to citizens (level of public interest, increases accountability, etc.)
- Cost (cost to produce, cost to maintain)
Establish process to publish data
Each dataset we publish must have a data steward who we can rely on for regular check ins and data updates (if manually updated). The first 2 steps are those that the data champion (person requesting the data release) is responsible for. The last three are things that the Enterprise Information team will facilitate/manage.
Step 1: Fill out the inventory questionnaire here - https://goo.gl/forms/lHfxDffpGjkHJn4G3
Step 2: Score the dataset here - http://datadriven.nola.gov/training/submit-score-card/
Step 3: Meet with data steward or coordinator to set up connection to data or schedule regular updates.
Step 4: Insert metadata into the Approval Form and send for signatures/official approval. (If the dataset is an inventory, we send for final comments within 7 days. If no feedback from department, we continue to Step 5.)
Step 5: PUBLISH and MAINTAIN
Timeline for new dataset publication
In practice, we have not had to schedule data publication as we publish as soon as possible with approvals and set-up. As we move through the process, we aim to publish new datasets when resources are available, data receives an acceptable open data score, and is approved by the appropriate authority.
Ensure published data is available for download or via API
We are able to use our open data platform at data.nola.gov (powered by Socrata) to provide data for bulk download, API and other types of connection/use.
Encourage public participation through regular feedback and collaboration
The Enterprise Information team engages with the public through a variety of mediums, including fielding data questions and suggestions through data.nola.gov, guiding the local Code for America brigade and participating in affinity groups and neighborhood meetings as our schedules allow. As this project grows, our team envisions creating a Community Data University to help bridge the ever-increasing "digital divide" in our communities.